Community Collaboration: Referral Partner Organization Edition!
In February we officially kicked off recruiting for Class Four and since then have been staying busy meeting with both our OG and new referral partners. I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Sharon and Ashley from Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC) to talk about what it means to be a community referral partner with UnBound, and how they envision a more close-knit Richmond community.
Let me first start off by saying we at UnBound L-O-V-E our community referral partners! We often say that our referral partners are the lifeblood of our organization, as they genuinely keep us alive and running. Beyond just referring amazing individuals to our program, they go out of their way to ensure the success of our participants, whether that’s providing technical support or just being an extra set of ears when needed.
We recently had an info session at the Neighborhood Resource Center (NRC), and I was able to chat with Sharon and Ashley a little more about what they do at the NRC, and what it means to be a referral partner. To give a little background, the NRC is the community center for Fulton residents and provides preschool, after school, and adult financial stability services (such as job support, job coaching, benefits assistance, etc.) The NRC has been a community referral partner with UnBound since the very beginning, and more recently has referred both Angela and Mike from Class Three.
One of the biggest themes Ashley, Sharon and I talked about was how collaboration is key to building a strong community — which is a huge focus for both UnBound and the NRC. Why recreate the wheel, when there are so many resources out there that are all equally amazing in their own specialized niche? We mutually believe the power lies in bringing these unique resources together. For the NRC, collaboration with UnBound means referring their clients to an opportunity they can’t otherwise provide. They believe in the power of leveraging the strengths of other organizations to come together in support of their clients. We share this belief at UnBound, as there are many services that we cannot provide our participants and business owners. Having the NRC as an external resource to help fill these gaps makes for a truly incredible partnership. At the end of the day, both of our goals are to make sure our clients and participants are successful, and one truly great way to make this possible is to partner and collaborate with resources already existing in Richmond.
Richmond definitely has an abundance of room for improvement (another topic for another day), but Richmond also has some pretty great things about it too. If there is anything I want you to take away from reading this blog is that I hope it encourages you to explore our city; get to know your neighbors, your fellow non-profits, all of the amazing local businesses and establishments (plus so much more!) because chances are we all share similar passions and goals for when it comes to building upon, and coming together as a stronger and more collaborative community.
* If you are interested in referring someone to be a part of Class Four please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Class Four applications are due beginning of May 2017! For more information on how to apply please visit www.unboundrva.org/apply